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Clearcut
Canada - 1992
Directed by Ryszard Bugajski


Based on the novel A Dream Like Mine by M. T. Kelly, Clearcut is a brutal look at mainstream North American society's unwillingness to pay attention both to environmental concerns and to the beliefs and values of indigenous cultures. In the great northern forest of the Canadian Shield, loggers are clearcutting the pristine wilderness, leaving behind a barren land that "looks like the moon on a bad day." Enraged by the callousness of the logging company, Arthur (Graham Greene), an angry young Indian-rights activist, kidnaps Peter (Ron Lea), a lawyer unsuccessfully trying to protect the land through Canada's court system. Although it has a clear political urge, Clearcut transcends the genre of agenda film. As Arthur is revealed to be an Indian trickster spirit, conjured into human form, the film evolves into a supernatural thriller. With its eerie mysticism and stark metaphors, Clearcut is compelling, disturbing, and finally devastating. -Lisanne Skyler

Runtime:  102 minutes

Thanks to the Pacific Film Archives for the above information.


Guest Comments

From:  "grant"

"The effects of regenerating forest ecosystems are not necessarily negative. Don't make the fatal error of transposing the effects of one ecosystem onto other ecosystems that function differently. Where I live and work to support my family, ""selective"" timber harvesting has destroyed the quality and quantity of the timber resource that would have supported a sustainable forest ecosystem and forest economy for the indigenous people of the region. We now face the struggle of convincing the loggers, the landowners, the forest industry and the general public of the need to let our forests sustainably regenerate so that future generations will enjoy the diversity and productivity that our land can provide."


From:  "Shane Harvey, composer"

"The film Clearcut will be remembered in Canada as a film that was at least 10 years ahead of it's time.Critics and audiences alike fled the theatre because of the intensity the film offered.People said it was one of the most violent films ever created on Canadian soil....3 scenes that's it. BUT they are the most real scenes imagined.Violence isn't planned in most cases. It comes from NO where and hits you between the eyes. Clearcut failed in it's inability to show the devastation that has been a regular occurrance in Canadian forests for years. It succeeded in getting most fat walleted Canadians off their asses to look at logging and native rights.The death of the writer of Clearcut, Rob Forsyth has devastated most involved in the project....long may he be remembered.  It is the most provocative project I have worked on to date. Shane Harvey, composer."

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